Council of young Rider alumni host inaugural meeting

Adam Grybowski

Motivated by a feeling of gratitude toward their alma mater and a desire to give back, more than 20 recent Rider University graduates convened on the Lawrenceville campus on Jan. 18 for the inaugural meeting of the BOLD Council.

The University’s new BOLD (or Broncs of the Last Decade) program provides special opportunities for the nearly 10,000 members of the classes of 2008-17 to engage with Rider. Members of the BOLD Council, which includes a six-person executive committee chaired by Jessica Vento ’15 and Mark McCoy '12, volunteer their time to help create and execute those opportunities.

“I feel strongly about giving back to places that helped me become who I am today," says Frank Romano '10, '15. “Assisting this committee is one of the most important things I think alumni can do for their alma mater — to volunteer time and talent to help students find their way on their own professional and  personal paths, with an eye toward encouraging and inspiring them to take that role on once they graduate and feel ready to do so."

The group met to brainstorm new initiatives and events and discuss ways to partner with groups on campus, specifically through the first half of 2018. Ideas included ways for alumni to have a presence during admitted student days, participate in Relay for Life and Global Youth Service Day, and volunteer during upcoming events for Black History Month at the University. In general, the Council will work toward creating a sense of community, strengthening networking and career opportunities, and contributing to the growth of the University.

“I thought BOLD was a fantastic idea from the get-go, but when I saw the programs and initiatives for the new year, I could not have been more proud,” says Täara L. Stewart '11. “I always wanted to be involved at Rider but never quite knew where I could fit in. Now I feel like my passion is ignited.”

The BOLD Council includes five committees (alumni engagement, diversity and inclusion, philanthropy, student transition, and volunteer recruitment), and each is chaired by an alumnus or alumna. A common thread that unites all members of the BOLD Council is the recognition that Rider played a significant role in their lives.

“My time as a student at Rider University was the most influential and rewarding time of my life,” says Katharine T. Rella '16. “At Rider, I learned to be a leader, a professional and a good friend. I discovered my passion for social work and my love for helping change the world. I hope to share my experience with others in an effort to change the lives of Rider students and alumni.”

In addition to the desire to give back, some alumni recognized the positive personal reasons to stay involved with their alma mater. “I think continuing to be part of a community after college can help alumni both professionally and personally, whether it be helping their transition out of school, into a new job or maybe even a new town,” Amanda H. Zurita '14. “I think everyone can benefit from knowing there are fellow Broncs around who are open to making a connection.”

To learn more about the BOLD program, visit